Bulletin Board v127

A long road to a safe place: Children in state-licensed residential programs still face risk of injury — Something as simple as a dispute about a piece of cake or as ugly as a trash can planted on a spitting child’s head can lead to confrontation, injury and trauma for children in state-licensed facilities. In moments of danger, workers in residential programs are permitted to physically restrain the youth in their care. Laying hands on a child almost always involves a struggle, though, and it is not uncommon for children — and staff — to get hurt. Sometimes, they walk away with bruises. Other times, they leave in ambulances, nursing concussions or fractured bones.

Bath woman who bragged of sex with boy sentenced — A Bath woman who had sex with a 14-year-old boy, then bragged about it at work, will serve up to seven years in state prison. Theresa E. Kasznicki, 43, is “truly a perpetrator” who may have irreparably impacted the boy she abused, Northampton County Judge Stephen Baratta said Friday. “You’re a sexual predator,” Baratta told Kasznicki. “It’s clear you groomed this young boy, took advantage of him, then bragged about it later.” In June 2010, police said, Kasznicki gave the boy marijuana and the anti-anxiety drug Ativan, then stripped him naked and had sex with him at her former apartment at 277 E. Main St.

Boy who died after being locked in cage wrote about his desire to die — Confined to a cramped dog cage in his family’s Gary-area mobile home, 13-year-old Christian Choate would ask why he couldn’t go outside with the other kids. According to documents made public Friday by a Lake County, Ind. judge, his stepmother, Kimberly Kubina instead would give him paper and assign him a topic to write about. “Christian wrote of why nobody liked him and how he just wanted to be liked by his family. Christian stated that he wanted to die because nobody liked the way he ‘acted,’” according to one of the documents. “Christian’s writings detail a very sad, depressed child who often wondered when someone, anyone, was going to come check on him and give him food or liquid. Christian often stated he was hungry or thirsty.”

Boy’s private life allowed alleged abuse to continue for years — Ten months ago today, a Plymouth police officer and a Luzerne County Children and Youth caseworker entered a home on Gould Street and found garbage and rotten food scattered on the filthy carpet and a foul smell hanging heavy in the air. They found a child, too. A timid, dirty boy, frightened by people. Thirteen years old, only because the calender said so. He didn’t know how to use a fork, so he ate with his hands. He couldn’t bathe himself or brush his teeth.

Bronx Mother Fatally Beats Son Over Wii — In tragic gaming-related news, a Bronx mother has been charged with the murder of her son, who died as a result of internal injuries dealt from parental abuse involving a Nintendo Wii. Kim Crawford, 21, beat Jamar Johnson in his back and stomach last week after the five-year-old broke the family’s television while playing Nintendo Wii. After five days of vomiting, pain, and bruising, Johnson died of internal injuries. According to Crawford, she refused to take Johnson to receive medical care, fearing legal consequences. 

DA: Woman charged after hitting boy with car, getting hubcap, leaving scene — A woman was formally charged Tuesday after she allegedly hit a boy on a bicycle this weekend with her car, stopped to pick up her hubcap, then drove away. Brittany M. Gonzales, 21, was charged with vehicular assault, child abuse resulting in bodily injury, leaving the scene of an accident, all felonies, and a DUI. The Denver District Attorney’s Office says Gonzales allegedly hit a 11-year-old boy who was riding his bike near Irving Street and Dakota Avenue on Saturday around 8 p.m.

Former Boy Scouts sue, alleging sexual abuse — Six Seattle area men and one Spokane man claim the Boy Scouts of America didn’t do enough to protect them from sexual abuse. They make the allegations in separate filings in US District Court in Seattle and Spokane, and say the BSA’s own documents help make their case. The plaintiffs claim different scoutmasters are responsible for the abuse, which allegedly occurred in the 1970s and 1980s. They also point to internal BSA documents, which included a list of “ineligible volunteers” for the organization. The list is full of scoutmasters accused of sexual abuse, dating back decades.

Former monk says he abused teens — A former monk who is a central figure in a sexual abuse lawsuit filed against a Benedictine monastery told a Missouri newspaper he had inappropriate sexual contact with several members of a boys choir in the 1980s. “Frankly, those allegations, most of them are true,” Bede Parry told The Kansas City Star for a story printed Friday. Parry, 69, led the Abbey Boy Choir of Conception Abbey from 1982 to 1987. He said he had sexual contact with five or six choir members. Most were over 18, but two were 16 to 18 years old, he said.

He was my priest and my friend. Then I found out he was a paedophile — All journalists like seeing their articles discussed on television, even when they’re being challenged, but the sight of John Poppleton holding a copy of an obituary I wrote earlier this year for the Guardian made me feel profoundly ashamed. The subject was Father Kit Cunningham, the Catholic priest who had married us, baptised my son (who shares his Christian name) and was a family friend for 20 years. “A Technicolor eccentric, and widely loved as a consequence,” the obituary read. “I find this,” Poppleton said, brandishing the newspaper cutting to camera as if it were contaminated, “offensive. This priest was a monster.”

Onetime priest crusades for abuse victims suing Catholic Church — As a young man studying for the priesthood, Patrick Wall imagined life as a professor and football coach at a Catholic university. It didn’t work out that way. Two decades later, Wall has not only left the Catholic Church, he has become one of its most tireless opponents. He’s an ex-priest, driven from ministry by the feeling that his superiors used him to help cover up sex abuse by other clergymen. And he’s using the training he gained as a priest to work with victims of abuse who want to take the church to court.

The Report on U.S. Catholic Priests’ Sex Abuse: What the Critics Got Wrong — Sound bites should not be confused with facts. By the time we officially released our report […] on The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950 – 2010 on May 18, 2011, the media had already seized on incomplete leaks of the report to give it a spin that had only a tangential relationship to what we wrote. It’s time to put the record straight—and to chart a way forward so that the pattern of abuses we studied is never repeated.

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